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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 496 (Feb 16) > Never forget

Never forget

The people fleeing Earth on Starship UK have two choices – protest or forget. Let’s hope the Time Team have a better reaction to this month’s episode...


We’re adrift in space. Chris grips the arm of Michael’s swish new sofa as if to steady himself, as Emma cranes forward for a closer look.

“Well, that’s an astonishing opening shot,” she says as we pan past a vast, floating city.

“Towers blocks named after counties,” observes Will. “Keeping the names alive perhaps? Like beers named after old London rivers,” he says wistfully.

“Everything reminds you of beer,” says Chris.

It looks like the whole of the UK has taken to the stars. “What did we do that was so bad, that the rest of the Earth had to jettison us?” wonders Emma.

The outside of this vessel may be futuristic, but things are more old-school inside, where children are hard at work in a run-down classroom.

“They’re still using those grim school desks,” says Will, “with ink wells that haven’t had ink in them since the 1960s.”

Emma nods. “Even the kids look a bit moth-eaten.”

The teacher is also unusual – a sinister puppet-like head mounted in a glass cabinet. And it’s smiling, oh-so-creepily. All of the children are congratulated on their progress, except for poor Timmy Winters. As he approaches the Smiler, its head revolves to reveal a new, frowning face.

“I’m not sure how useful mechanical fortune-tellers are as teachers,” says Emma. “Although it could be useful for all teachers to have a pants-wettingly terrifying face on the back of their head.”

This second face has been summoned to scare the pants off poor Timmy, who has scored a big, fat zero. His pal Mandy reminds him this means he can’t ride the lift to London, but Timmy won’t be told, and heads into the Vator alone.

Inside is another Smiler, who is definitely not pleased to see him.

“I’ve heard of people being two-faced,” says Chris, “but where did that third face come from?” The frowning face has turned once more to reveal another, even scarier mask. The team is horrified as the lift floor slides back, leaving Timmy to fall, screaming, into the handy furnace below.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: John Hurt interview; the War Doctor on audio; Steven Moffat answers readers' questions; Feature – The story of Doctor Who videogames; Comic Strip – Theatre of the Mind written and illustrated by Roger Langridge; A tribute to Anthony Read; The Fact of Fiction – The King's Demons; Time Team – The Beast Below; Missing in Action – The Myth Makers; Relative Dimensions; Wotcha; Reviews and Previews; Crossword